Do you like going out to see friends, play games, or converse around the table? So does your pet! Dogs and people are similar–they thrive off of being able to do these things. Socializing dogs can help promote good behavior and expose your dog to various situations and environments. Early socialization is especially key to young puppies. Keep reading to find out how you can socialize your pet.
Dog Training Facilities
The first great way to introduce your puppy to other dogs is through dog training or puppy classes. A good age to start this training is around 12 weeks as this is your dog’s highest socialization period. During this sensitive period, your puppy has a chance to experience sights and sounds without being scared. Acclimating them to different sounds such as loud yelling, ringing phones, children playing, and kitchen noises can be a good start. Handling your puppy in different ways is another way to socialize. Try rubbing their feet, playing with their tail, and looking in their ears. This experience of both learning and socializing can be beneficial to your new pup.
Most training facilities also provide doggie daycare. If you feel that your fur baby needs extra puppy socialization, this would be the place to send them. This offers a safe, interactive and fun environment for your dog to enjoy. There are many benefits of a dog daycare, including the following:
- Decreases boredom, loneliness and separation anxiety
- Socializing with humans
- Socializing with other dogs
- Exercise and mental stimulation
- Prevents bad behavior that can happen if your dog would be left home alone
- Peace of mind for dog parents who are worried about leaving their dog home alone during the work day
- Learn how to play correctly
- Promotes calmness and better sleep for the pup
Introducing your dog to other older dogs can be another great way of socializing. Dog parks are a fun location to take your dog to see how they’ll interact with other dogs. Just be sure your pup is fully vaccinated before you take them to a park. A variety of diseases such as parvo or rabies are at risk to your growing pet. When your puppy gets all of their vaccines at around 17 weeks of age you should be able to feel comfortable taking them to these public locations.
By taking your pet to a dog park, you are providing them with mental stimulation that can help with over hyper activity. This type of exercise is also a good start for your new puppy. Without these social skill experiences, dogs can lose their ability to know how to behave appropriately around other dogs.
Dog Friendly Locations
Have you seen a cute dog out at a restaurant with their own? Do you want to be able to socialize your pet in this way too? It is definitely possible! If you provide your dog with enough experience and training day to day then you’ll be able to bring them out with you. A lot of places are becoming dog friendly so it makes it easier to give your pet this experience.
Another thing to consider when wanting to take your dog along with you is getting them registered as an emotional support animal. If you have any of the following mental health issues, you may be eligible to register your dog:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety Disorders
- Specific phobias like agoraphobia and aerophobia
With a quick search, you should be able to find dog friendly locations in your area. There are a few nationwide retail chain stores that allow well socialized dogs inside (just make sure you call your local store and double check first):
- Tractor Supply Company
- Rural King
- Ace Hardware
- Bass Pro Shops
- Home Depot
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
Most of your local independent pet retailers allow pets inside too! Be sure to call before you go just in case they have any exceptions.
Whether you take your pet to dog training, a dog park, or to a dog friendly location, know that you are providing a great social experience for your dog. Having these socialization skills will help your pet to grow and be a well-behaved animal. Gain peace of mind knowing your good girl or good boy acts correctly by providing them with these opportunities.